Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And Town Of Ferriday, Louisiana

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-33-61

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against the Town of Ferriday. The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complainant alleges that the Town of Ferriday has not completed either a self-evaluation or a transition plan, in violation of section 35.105 of the Department's title II regulation. 28 C.F.R. ァ35.105.

The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complainant in this matter to determine the compliance of the Town of Ferriday with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. ァ 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.

The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Town of Ferriday. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

  1. The Town of Ferriday is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104.
  2. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability, in the services, programs, or activities of a public entity such as the Town of Ferriday.
  3. Under the ADA, the services, programs, or activities provided by the Town of Ferriday, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
  4. The subject of this Agreement is the completion of the self-evaluation and transition plan for the Town of Ferriday.
  5. Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this agreement, the Town of Ferriday will complete the self-evaluation and the transition plan and submit copies to the Department.
  6. The Town of Ferriday will submit a report to the Department on its implementation of the matters set forth in paragraph 5 within forty (40) days of the effective date of this Agreement.
  7. The self-evaluation will, at a minimum, address the issues set out below. The Town of Ferriday may resolve these issues through structural changes, which will be set out in a transition plan, or by developing a plan to otherwise provide its services, programs, and activities in such a way as to make them accessible to persons with disabilities. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. p.t 36, app. A ("Standards") are cited below as guidance for assessing whether building features present barriers to person with disabilities and for what changes will be necessary if alterations are made.

    Municipal Building

    • Drinking fountains

      Although the Standards require that the spout of a drinking fountain be no higher than 36 inches measured from the floor, ァ4.15.2, the drinking fountains are 44 inches high.

    • Restroom

      Although the Standards require that a water closet not located in a toilet stall have grab bars that comply with ァ4.46 and figure 29(b), ァ4.16.4, the grab bars in the restrooms are not mounted in compliance with this standard.

      Although the Standards require that the clear floor space for a water closet that is not in a toilet stall comply with figure 28, ァ4.16.2, because the doors open into the toilet rooms, there is not sufficient clear floor space.

      Although the Standards require that mirrors be mounted with the bottom edge of the reflecting surface no higher than 40 inches above the floor, ァ4.19.6, the bottom edge of the mirror in the women's restroom is 48 inches above the floor.

    • Service counter

      Although the Standards require that a portion of a service counter, a minimum of 36 inches in length, be at a maximum height of 36 inches, ァ7.2(2), the counter in the lobby has no lowered section for wheelchair use.

    • Side entrance

      Although the Department's title II regulations ("Regulation"), 28 C.F.R. pt. 35 ァ35.130(b)(ii) state that a public entity may not afford a qualified individual with a disability an opportunity to benefit from a service that is not equal to the opportunity afforded to others, the door at the accessible entrance is not always kept unlocked during business hours, making it more difficult for an individual with a disability to get in to the building than it is for others.

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding accessible facilities available to the public, there is no sign on the side door indicating that it is the accessible entrance.

    • Front entrance

      Although the Standards state that the maximum allowable slope of a ramp is 1:12, ァ4.8.2, the ramps from the sidewalk into the building are steeper than that.

      Although the Standards require that the minimum clear width for a ramp be 36 inches, ァ4.8.3, the ramps from the sidewalk into the building are not that wide.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp have a level landing that complies with ァ4.8.4(1-2) at the top of each run, ァ4.8.4, the landings at the top of the ramps from the sidewalk into the building re not compliant.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp with a drop off have curbs or projecting surfaces, a minimum of 2 inches high, that prevent people from slipping off the ramp, ァ4.8.7 figure 17, there are no curbs on the ramps from the sidewalk into the building.

      Although the Standards state that the maximum allowable slope of a ramp is 1:12, ァ4.8.2, the ramp from the accessible parking space onto the sidewalk is steeper than that.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp with a rise greater than 6 inches have handrails that comply with ァ4.26, ァ4.8.5, there are no handrails on the ramp from the accessible parking space onto the sidewalk.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp with a drop off have curbs or projecting surfaces, a minimum of 2 inches high, that prevent people from slipping off the ramp, 4.8.7 figure 17, there are no curbs on the ramp from the accessible parking space onto the sidewalk.

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding accessible facilities available to the public, there is no sign on the front door indicating the location of the accessible side entrance.

    Old City Hall (owned by Ferriday)

    • Social Security Office

      Although ァ35.150 of the Regulation requires that a public entity's programs, services or activities be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the Social Security Office can only be accessed by a flight of stairs.

    • Office of Veterans Affairs

      Although the Standards state that the maximum allowable slope of a ramp is 1:12, ァ4.8.2, the ramp to the Office of Veterans Affairs has a rise of 22 inches and a run of 117 inches, a slope of 1:5.3, which is too steep.

      Although the Standards prohibit changes in level on an accessible route greater than ス inch,ァ 4.5.2, the lip at the top of the ramp is 3/4 inch.

    Police Station

    • Service counter

      Although the Standards require that a portion of a service counter, a minimum of 36 inches in length, be at a maximum height of 36 inches, ァ7.2(2), the counter in the lobby has no lowered section for wheelchair use.

    • Restroom - women

      Although the Standards require that a toilet stall have a minimum width of 60 inches, ァ4.17.3 and figure 30, the stall is only 33 inches wide.

      Although the Standards require that a door to a toilet stall have a minimum clear opening of 32 inches, with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop, ァ4.17.5 and ァ4.13.5, the entrance to the stall is on ly 22 ス inches wide.

      Although the Standards require that grab bars be mounted in compliance with figure 30 in a toilet stall, ァ4.17.6, there are no grab bars in the stall.

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding accessible facilities available to the public, there is no sign on the door of the restroom indicating that it is accessible.

    • Restroom - men

      Although the Standards require that a toilet stall have a minimum width of 60 inches, ァ4.17.3 and figure 30, the toilet stall is only 37 inches wide.

      Although the Standards require that grab bars be mounted in compliance with figure 30 in a toilet stall, ァ4.17.6, there are no grab bars in the stall.

      Although the Standards require that the rim of a urinal be at a maximum of 17 inches above the floor, ァ4.18.2, the rim of the urinal is 21 inches above the floor.

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding accessible facilities available to the public, there is no sign on the door of the restroom indicating that it is accessible.

    • Parking
    • Although the Standards require that accessible parking spaces, in compliance with ァ4.6, must be provided if parking spaces are provided for self-parking for employees and/or visitors, ァ4.1.2(5), no designated accessible parking spaces have been provided.

  8. If at any time the Town of Ferriday desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it shall promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification shall not take effect.
  9. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If it determines that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
  10. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  11. In the event that the Town of Ferriday fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, all terms of this Agreement shall become enforceable in an appropriate Federal court.
  12. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the Town of Ferriday or the Department on request.
  13. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  14. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the Town of Ferriday continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

    For the Town of Ferriday:

    ________________________________      Date:____________

    For the United States:

    BILL LANN LEE
    Acting Assistant Attorney General
    for Civil Rights

    By:________________________________      Date:____________
       JOHN WODATCH, Chief
       ALLISON NICHOL, Deputy Chief
       SUSAN B. REILLY, ATTORNEY
       Disability Rights Section
       Civil Rights Division
        U.S. Department of Justice    P.O. Box 66118
       Washington, D.C. 20035-6118

    >
Updated August 6, 2015

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